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Social Media Inquisition Continues with Thousands of Accounts Removed, Conservative Slogan Banned

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Social media platforms are continuing to crack down on fringe groups and President Donald Trump’s allegations of election fraud following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts associated with the QAnon conspiracy, and Facebook is removing posts and content claiming that the U.S. election was stolen.

Twitter said Tuesday that given the events last week in Washington, D.C., where a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, it was taking action against online behavior “that has the potential to lead to offline harm.”

In many cases, a single individual operated numerous accounts, driving up the total number of affected accounts, the company said in a blog post.

“These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service,” the company said.

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Twitter’s sweeping purge of QAnon accounts, which began Friday, is part of a crackdown that also includes its decision to ban Trump from the service.

The suspensions mean some Twitter users will lose followers, in some cases by the thousands, the company said.

Twitter has been trying to rein in QAnon for months, removing more than 7,000 accounts in July.

Twitter also said it will limit the spread of posts that violate its civic integrity policy by preventing anyone from replying to, liking or retweeting them.

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The policy prohibits attempts to manipulate elections and spread what the company deems misleading information about their results, with repeated violations resulting in permanent suspension.

Facebook said late Monday that it will begin removing from its platforms any content containing the phrase “stop the steal.”

Facebook said that it is still allowing “robust conversations” about the election’s outcome.

“But with continued attempts to organize events against the outcome of the US presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in DC, we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration,” executives said in a blog post.

The company said it may take some time to “scale up” the new enforcement measure but it has already removed a “significant number of posts,” without giving a specific number.

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